Liverpool face Napoli at Stadio San Paolo on Wednesday night looking to build on their thrilling opening Champions League victory over PSG a fortnight ago.
Napoli vs. Liverpool
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 — 8pm (BST)
Stadio San Paolo
Champions League Group Stage (Matchday 2)
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
The Reds are in one of their most defining runs of fixtures this season and so far have stood up to the challenge.
After Saturday’s late 1-1 draw at Chelsea, a result that genuinely felt more like a victory, it’s back to European action in midweek.
Trips across the continent don’t come much more daunting than Napoli, with Stadio San Paolo renowned as one of club football’s greatest arenas.
Roberto Firmino‘s last-minute winner against PSG has given Liverpool an early cushion in Group C, helped further by Napoli managing just a draw away to Red Star Belgrade.
Napoli have made a good start to life under Carlo Ancelotti, sitting second in Serie A, and they have players who can hurt the visitors, most notably Piotr Zielinski, Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens.
Klopp is never one to approach a game in anything other than a positive manner, and the hope is Liverpool can take another three points.
It will be interesting to see how many changes Klopp makes after his players exerted so much energy in a pulsating game at Chelsea.
Ancelotti will have to make do without young goalkeeper Alex Meret, centre-back Vlad Chriches, left-back Faouzi Ghoulam and wide man Amin Younes.
History of the Fixture
Surprisingly, Liverpool and Napoli have only met twice competitively. Both meetings came in the Europa League group stage during the 2010/11 season—one dogged by Roy Hodgson’s woeful reign as Reds manager.
The two teams played out a forgettable 0-0 draw in Naples, before one man single-handedly turned the tie at Anfield on its head.
Trailing 1-0 at half-time after Ezequiel Lavezzi’s strike, Steven Gerrard entered the fray and registered a second-half hat-trick.
There was also a clash between the Reds and the Partenopei during pre-season this summer, with Klopp’s men cruising to a 5-0 win in Dublin.
Stadio San Paolo
Address: Piazzale Vincenzo Tecchio, 80125 Napoli NA, Italy
Did You Know?
Sturridge has a decent chance of featuring prominently on Wednesday and his goalscoring form this season is proving eye-catching.
The 29-year-old has four goals to his name in seven appearances—only two starts—with each strike coming every 46.5 minutes on average.
Napoli – Last five results (all competitions)
Lost 3-1 vs. Juventus
Won 3-0 vs. Parma
Won 3-1 vs. Torino
Drew 0-0 vs. Red Star Belgrade
Won 1-0 vs. Fiorentina
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Speaking in Tuesday’s pre-match press conference, Klopp urged his side to be “ready for a real battle”:
“I’m here to be ready for a real battle, I don’t care too much about what people say about us.
“Yes, we were stable in the last few weeks, we performed on a consistently OK level, but again tomorrow we need to step up.
“This is a fantastic manager, fantastic football team and a very, very emotional crowd.
“So that will be a real challenge.”
TV & Live Blog Info
The game is live on BT Sport 3 from 7.15pm (BST), with kickoff at 8pm.
Ben Twelves will be manning our matchday live blog from 7.15pm, providing you with pre-match content and minute-by-minute updates during the action.